And just like that, the House passed the USA FREEDOM Act, now watered down beyond our ability to tolerate it as free people, now a bill that actually makes certain intelligence practices a court just struck down legal again, a bill that makes it all but impossible to challenge unconstitutional surveillance in the courts, a bill that (like the nefarious FISA Amendments Act!) grants not just immunity but compensation to the corporations that help our government spy on us. Hence CREDO helps you tell Congress to let critical parts of the PATRIOT Act expire in early June, and Roots Action still helps you tell your Congressfolk to support the far superior H.R. 1466, the Surveillance State Repeal Act, instead of the USA FREEDOM Act. H.R. 1466 would repeal both the PATRIOT Act and the FISA Amendments Act -- meaning our government would have to get a warrant from a judge to investigate Americans for alleged terrorism -- and even makes it a little easier for whistleblowers from within the ranks of intelligence agencies or their contractors to submit complaints about our government's wrongdoing. President Obama won't like that, but he doesn't get all the say around here.
Meanwhile, the SEC still hasn't issued rules mandating that publicly-traded corporations reveal their political contributions, despite receiving hundreds of thousands of public comments supporting the notion, despite the fact that these corporations are really spending someone else's money -- their shareholders' money -- to elect candidates who support more unearned tax breaks for large corporations. And when we say "shareholders," we don't just mean people who invest directly in corporations, go to shareholder meetings to vote on resolutions, and the like -- we mean just about anyone who has invested in a 401(k) or a pension fund, since those funds also invest in corporations. So justifying the public interest in such campaign finance disclosure is quite easy, whereas justifying the corporate interest becomes increasingly difficult -- while even our right-wing Supreme Court Justices wonder aloud why disclosure isn't enough, Senate Majority Leader McConnell likens disclosure to bullying. Both Roots Action and Public Citizen help you tell our government to support campaign finance disclosure for publicly-traded corporations.
Finally, Sum of Us helps you tell our government to close uranium mines in the Grand Canyon region. Didn't we do this already, you may be wondering? And the answer is yes: thanks in part to our pressure, former Interior Secretary Salazar issued a moratorium putting the Grand Canyon region off-limits to new uranium mines for the next 20 years. Trouble is, that order apparently didn't assess the possibility that corporations would re-open old mines and start up again, and Energy Fuels Resources, Inc., plans to do just that in mid-June, which would make its mine the first operating uranium mine within six miles of the Grand Canyon in 20 years. Now, it isn't just that, hey, this is the Grand Freaking Canyon we're talking about here -- uranium mining contaminates groundwater, and this mine not only threatens the basins that provide the indigenous Havasupai people with their one and only source of clean drinking water, but all the water in the Colorado River Basin, which supplies drinking water to over one out of every eight Americans. A little short-term profit doesn't justify that.